When Tenny Avanesian couldn’t find the simple, lemon-based dressings she grew up on in her family’s Armenian kitchen at her local grocery store in Silicon Valley, she took action. Avanesian created Lemonette—a product line that was natural without the long list of ingredients or GMOs.
A few years later, she was joined by Jehan Agrama, originally from Egypt, to produce this unique line of gourmet, lemon-based salad dressings and marinades with flavors inspired by classic Mediterranean recipes. The line includes: Mediterranean Herb, Lemon Garlic, Italian Herb and Zesty Cumin. What’s more, the Lemonette line contains no sugar or sweeteners, no artificial colors or preservatives and they’re gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and canola-free.
Though Lemonette was originally created for green salads, the flavors are versatile. The Zesty Cumin flavor can be used on legumes or grain salads, or as a marinade for chicken. The Mediterranean Herb is perfect for Mediterranean salads such as Fattoush or Shirazi, or as a marinade for salmon. The Italian Herb offers hints of rosemary and makes a delicious pasta salad.
Lemonette is available at selected stores in Northern California, including Oliver’s Market and Rainbow Grocery. For a complete store locater, or to order online, visit lemonettedressings.com.
Though usually an option at the local pizzeria, mushrooms aren’t given a chance by some food revelers. Sporgy wants that to change. The company makes jerky, tea and other products from fruiting bodies of fungi to bring their health and flavor benefits into the mainstream. “We strive to take gourmet mushrooms and present them in a relatable fashion,” says Carlee Leonhard, co-founder and chef by trade. She started Sporgy with another chef, Adam Alexander, in 2018 after each spent more than a decade in the food industry.
Sporgy features maitake mushroom jerky with familiar flavors such as BBQ, honey mustard and Mexican mole. “We love hearing people say, ‘Wow that tastes just like beef jerky,’” says Leonhard. Mushroom tea is another mainstay at the Healdsburg-based company. “We created our tea blends to be full of flavor and perfectly balanced,” she says. Additionally, mushrooms can have a positive impact on daily health, according to Leonhard. “Some of our Mush Love Teas contain lion’s mane mushrooms, which aid in repairing nerve damage, reducing anxiety and depression, and can increase cognitive function.” As for the jerky, maitake mushrooms contain anti-inflammatory properties and are known for being anti-tumorous. To ensure optimum heath benefit, Sporgy uses only the whole fruited body of the mushroom.
Now at seven different farmers markets, Sporgy is set for further expansion, starting with a plan to sell mushroom-based vegan hot food at the market in the near future. Also, jerky and tea production is set to increase exponentially after the company’s new custom dehydrator is complete.
Sporgy makes everything in-house, and the company wants to ensure the earth’s health as well, with 100 percent biodegradable packaging coming soon. But Sporgy aims to captivate its clientele with what goes inside its package. “Our mission is to change peoples perspective on mushrooms,” says Leonhard. In true chef fashion, she adds, “And we are unwilling to sacrifice quality for any reason.”
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